The University Blacks will don a special jumper this weekend to mark Indigenous Round.
This jumper was a special project for one of our players, Tyrone Bean, who spent a lot of time putting the design together along with Alex Kerr and working closely with our jumper sponsor Grashan, who have produced the jumpers.
Here's Tyrone's explanation of what each component on the jumper represents:
"Replacing the traditional blue V on the chest of the jumper will be a blue Bunjil, which is overlooking everything else on the jumper. The Bunjil is the totem of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nations where Melbourne Central Business District is located.
In the centre of the jumper is the meeting ground which represents the University of Melbourne and where the University Blacks are based. There is a thicker path which represents the Yarra River of the Wurundjeri people which flows through the meeting place and the rest of Wurundjeri country.
There are many different paths leading towards the central meeting place which represents every players journey to the University Blacks. The larger dots along their path to the University represents the challenges faced and overcome. One of the paths is from a Brolga which represents my Bindal totem from Townsville.
There is a red and yellow circle in the centre of the Brolga's stomach which represents my spirit and my family's spirit. Replacing the larger dots is the journey of my spirit into the centre of meeting place. It represents my challenges overcome before coming to the University Blacks. The reason why it stops in the centre of the meeting place, it represents the full University Blacks players, coaches, family members and community supporting my family and myself after I was racially vilified last season in a game against another VAFA team. It represents the full University Blacks community looking after and guiding my friends, family and myself through that significant negative moment and for the rest of the year and for all issues that Indigenous people face and endure daily.
On the back of the jumper is the Yarra River with a crocodile swimming in it which is a contemporary input as it represents an Aboriginal man from Darwin and his totem who is also playing at the University Blacks.
This jumper represents a community that is and has been predominately non-Indigenous coming together and standing up against the negativities surrounding Indigenous Peoples and their communities.
It represents a community coming together to stand up against the mistreatment of Indigenous Peoples past, present and hopefully not so much into the future. It represents a community being the leader of social change within a broader and more mainstream community within Indigenous Australia. And lastly it represents a community that will forever be a home for future generations of Indigenous Peoples.
This is the first time something this positive within the Indigenous space will be held in the VAFA and hopefully it isn't the last. Hopefully this is an opportunity to take a step back from the busy lives that people live and provides a time to reflect on the journey of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, issues, affairs, education and the influence it has had on our favourite sport in Australia.
Through more education and awareness, together we can be the social change and make a positive difference for all Australians." - Tyrone Bean, Melbourne University Blacks Footballer